Blow up the entire team? Why not? The Flyers did it, and that kind of worked out for them.

I honestly think my fever has made me delirious. Before we do anything, let’s take a look at the Sabres current roster:

Pominville – Roy – Vanek
Adam – Szczechura – Stafford
Kaleta – Gaustad – Kassian
Whitmore – Ellis – McCormick

Weber – Regehr
Ehrhoff – Leopold
McNabb – Sekera

We also own the rights to Leino, Ennis, Myers, Gerbe, Boyes, Gragnani, Hecht, Tropp, and Foligno – amongst a few others.

Using Dan Sterlace’s Guide to Trades as a general guideline, let’s rebuild the Sabres.

Transactions:

  • Ryan Miller to Tampa Bay for Martin St. Louis and Mathieu Garon.
    • What TB gets: A goaltender. Something they really need.
    • What BUF gets: A franchise winger in the prime of his career, and a backup goaltender.
    • Miller’s time in Buffalo is slowly drawing to a close. Fans know he is no longer invincible. Acquiring a new “face” of the franchise would be a wise move – especially to complement any big time centers the Sabres may acquire over the next few trades…
  • Drew Stafford, Marcus Foligno, and a second round pick to Colorado for Matt Duchene.
    • What COL gets: A potential 30-goal scorer who plays on the wing, a solid left wing prospect (something they don’t have), and a second round draft pick.
    • What BUF gets: A solid, young center. A potential new “core” player who works hard on the ice.
    • Duchene has struggled to be consistant in Colorado this season, despite still putting up 11 goals. He has sunk to their fourth line a few times during this season, has been moved to wing, and still can’t find a consistant pace. Regardless, the Sabres need a center. Bucky Gleason wants Paul Stastny, but Duchene brings just as much to the table for about the same price. Sending Stafford to the West would be addition by subtraction, as his seemingly apathetic attitude has permeated the Buffalo locker room. Giving up Foligno and a second would be a small price to pay if Duchene can find his bearings in Buffalo.
  • Derek Roy, Andrej Sekera, and Jhonas Enroth to Columbus for Jeff Carter
    • What CLS gets: A proven second-line center to at least fill the void that Carter will leave behind, a new starting goaltender, and a solid young defensemen.
    • What BUF gets: The first-line center of their dreams and the removal of Derek Roy’s mediocre attitude from the locker room.
    • Apparently already linked to some trade rumors, Carter doesn’t want to be in Columbus. From one complacent locker room to another, Pegula’s desire to win might rub off on Carter – someone who is accustomed to success in the NHL. Columbus, on the other hand, needs a new goaltender and some sort of return for the failed Carter experiment.
  • Jordan Leopold and a first round pick to the Rangers for Martin Biron and Michael Rupp.
    • What NYR gets: A pick and a solid offensive defenseman, as well as cap relief.
    • What BUF gets: A starting goaltender and a depth forward.
    • This trade is done purely based on need for both the Rangers and Sabres. The Sabres would need a goaltender at this point, and with the decimated defense in New York, this trade would benefit both sides. An added prospect may need to be thrown into the mix. Rupp was added for Rangers cap relief, as they sit right up against the cap.
  • Luke Adam, Tyler Ennis, and a fourth round pick to Winnipeg for Evander Kane
    • What WPG gets: Needed depth at center/left wing.
    • What BUF gets: A long term scorer at left wing, to play on the second line behind Vanek.
    • Kane has reportedly had troubles in Winnipeg, disagreeing with his coach and asking for a trade. While this was denied, the Sabres could gain a lot by acquiring this young winger. The Jets, on the other hand, would gain both size (in Adam) and speed (in Ennis). With their weak depth at center, the Jets also could shift Adam to the middle. Kane is also due for a big payday, which Buffalo tends to give.
  • Brad Boyes to Columbus for Derick Brassard
    • What CLS gets: A winger who would end up being second on the Blue Jacket depth chart, under Rick Nash and above R.J. Umberger.
    • What BUF gets: A slightly overpaid center who can pass, something most Sabres cannot do.
    • Brassard needs a change of scenery and Buffalo would be willing to accommodate his salary if a player like Boyes was taken off their roster. This trade would be beneficial for both teams, trading one overpaid underachiever for another. The difference is, Brassard would be surrounded by wingers who could benefit from his passes – something he does not have in Columbus.
  • Marc-Andre Gragnani and a fifth for Ales Hemsky
    • What EDM gets: An offensive defensemen and a pick.
    • What BUF gets: A frustrated scorer looking for a new home.
    • Edmonton media outlets label Hemsky’s value at a prospect defensemen and a pick. Gragnani has drawn the ire of Sabre fans, but Edmonton could use a young offensive defensemen to grow up with their young core. The Sabres, on the other hand, acquire some scoring talent at a low price. If it doesn’t work out, just don’t resign him – as Hemsky is a UFA after this season.
  • Paul Gaustad to Minnesota for Clayton Stoner.
    • Minnesota needs a center, and the Sabres need cap relief at this point. Stoner is a one-year defensemen.

For the Sabres
Centers in: Duchene, Brassard, Carter
LWs in: Kane
RWs in: St. Louis, Hemsky, Rupp
D in: Stoner
Gs in: Garon, Biron

$ in: $3.2 $3.2 $4.1 $5.2 $5.6 $3.1 $1.3 $.87 $1.5 $.55 = 28.62

For the rest of the NHL
Centers out: Roy, Gaustad
LWs out: Foligno, Adam, Ennis
RWs out: Stafford, Boyes
D out: Sekera, Gragnani, Leopold
G out: Miller, Enroth
Picks out: 1st 2nd 4th 5th

$ out: $4 $4 $.55 $4 $2.7 $.65 $6.25 $.87 $.87 $3 $2.3= 29.19

——————–

So, the new lines would be:

Vanek – Duchene – St. Louis
Leino – Carter – Pominville
E. Kane – Hecht – Hemsky
Gerbe – Brassard – Kaleta
McCormick – Ellis – Tropp/Kassian

Myers – Regehr
Ehrhoff – Weber
McNabb – Stoner

Biron – Garon

Forward Lines:

Vanek – Duchene – St. Louis

Duchene’s vision will give Vanek and St. Louis plenty of opportunities. More importantly, St. Louis’ Stanley Cup experience will give veteran leadership to teammates who have not tasted the same greatness.

Leino – Carter – Pominville

Carter is not a second line center, but rather, heads line 1b. Since he is more of a shooter than a scorer, he would benefit from the creative play of Ville Leino. Being teammates in the past, he may feel slightly more comfortable in Buffalo than he did in Columbus – especially playing on a line with a former teammate. Pominville will be on the other side to soak up passes, make smart plays, and teach Carter some manners.

E. Kane – Hecht – Hemsky

The depth line for the Sabres is where teams will struggle to keep up. Kane’s knack for scoring will only be emphasized when playing against team’s top lines. Defensive-minded Hecht will be able to feed his wingers.

Gerbe – Brassard – Kaleta

Not a true checking line, but these are players who can grind to get under the other team’s skin. Not to mention, Gerbe is right where he belongs at this point in the season.

Defensive Pairings

Pretty much status quo until free agency. This gives McNabb his chance, gives Weber one last chance, and keeps the core of the defense intact.

Goaltending

If we traded both our goalies, and needed a temporary fix, who else would we want than Marty? Pancakes are back in Buffalo.
Also, Garon won’t play a single game.

What the hell have I done? I think my fever has gotten the best of me.

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About Justin

I am an avid retro gamer who loves hockey.

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